Chelsea starlet Ruben Loftus-Cheek has praised his teammates and England captain Harry Kane after the Three Lions demolished Panama 6-1 in their World Cup Group G encounter this afternoon.
The 22-year-old, who starred during the 2017/18 season on loan at Premier League minnows Crystal Palace, cut an assured figure in Nizhny Novgorod after being rewarded with both his first World Cup start and full 90 minutes for his national side.
An incredibly one-sided first half saw England take a 5-0 lead, with Loftus-Cheek following up his impressive cameo against Tunisia on Monday with another excellent outing; after the break, he proved influential for Gareth Southgate’s men’s final goal, as his long-range effort deflected off Kane to provide the England skipper with his hat-trick and put the icing on the cake.
Following the game, which leaves England joint-top of Group G heading into their final and decisive round-robin fixture against Belgium on Thursday, Loftus-Cheek spoke to reporters about his side’s performance – and singled out his Three Lions captain for particular praise.
“I’m really happy with the performance from the boys and to win 6-1 on my first World Cup start was fantastic – [I’m] delighted. We will do everything exactly the same as we have been doing. Going into Belgium game we want to win; the pressure is not on to win but all the boys and staff will want to win.”
The Lewisham-born midfielder, who is expected to be recalled to Stamford Bridge in time for the start of the new term following his performances over the past 12 months, added: “For such a young captain, Harry Kane is so vocal and I think everyone respects him massively in the team.”